Fishing & Hunting Report - Sept 15, 2014
WEEKLY OUTDOOR, FISHING AND HUNTING REPORTS, followed by calendar
***Eagle River, Wis. (VILAS COUNTY) -- as of September 15, 2014:
Walleye, northern and panfish putting on a good to excellent bite, with musky, smallmouth and largemouth bass all good. Several hunting seasons in full swing; all in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.
Water temps in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area are in the mid 60s.
WALLEYE: Walleye in the Eagle River area are locating off of break edges adjacent to main lake basins in 30 feet of water or less. Use a jig and a minnow. Walleyes are tight to bottom.
All day action and the bite is good to excellent.
NORTHERN: Northern in the Eagle River area are in weed beds in 10 feet of water or less. Use a small bucktail, bass style spinner bait, Husky Jerk (minnow or walleye pattern), or a northern sucker under a slip bobber. All day action and the bite is good to excellent.
PANFISH: (Crappies, bluegills and perch). Panfish in the Eagle River area are locating off of break edges and weed edges in 15 feet of water or less.
Perch are tight to bottom, with crappies and gills suspending up and down the water column (lake and day dependent). Use a chunk of crawler, crappie minnow or mico-plastic on a jig or under a slip bobber. All day action and the bite is good to excellent.
MUSKY: Muskies in the Eagle River area are locating off of break edges and in the weeds in 15 feet of water or less. Use a regular size bucktail, topwater, jerk bait or glide bait (some guides are starting to use live
suckers- - if they can find them! - -but it's just a skosh early). Normal retrieve, and always do a "figure 8" when the lure nears your boat. All day action, with short feeding windows, and the bite is good.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Smallies in the Eagle River area are locating off of break edges in 25 feet of water or less over hardbottom areas. Use a jig and a minnow or a plastic tube or craw. All day action and the bite is good.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Largemouth have moved a tad deeper in the Eagle River area. Fish weed edges in 15 feet of water or less. Use a jig and a minnow, plastic rigged weedles, or a bass style spinner bait. All day action and the bite has been good.
Several hunting seasons are now in full swing in the Eagle River area.
Ruffed grouse season opened on Saturday, September 13. The leaves are still on the trees and all the cover is thick, so the birds are spread out. They will stay this way until the leaves come off the trees, which is usually around October 5th. Hunters are finding birds by walking snowmobile and other trails through the woods. Note that woodcock season does not open until September 20. You will probably see some, so hold your fire until next week.
Archery deer season also opened on Saturday. Because of the very late spring, there are still some bucks in the velvet stage and a few fawns still have their spots. There are special recording requirements to possess either of these deer - check the Wisconsin DNR website for details.
The last week we have seen very heavy rain in the Eagle River area. This will make some back roads difficult to travel. Be careful that you don¹t get stuck in the muddy, low spots. Lakes in general, and flowages in particular, are very high which will open up some good backwater duck hunting spots. The duck season begins on September 27.
Editor¹s Note: Eagle River, Wisconsin, is the Snowmobile Capital of the World®, Hockey Capital of Wisconsin, World¹s Largest Chain of 28 Lakes (Eagle River Chain O¹Lakes named one of the ³7 Natural Wonders of Wisconsin² by Travel Wisconsin.com/Wisconsin Department of Tourism); voted ³The Best Up-North Town² by readers of Wisconsin Trails Magazine.
(Report for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce based on Creative Brilliance interviews with Eagle River guides ³Muskie Matt² of Wild Eagle Lodge, ³Ranger Rick² Krueger of Guide¹s Choice Pro Shop, Mat Hegy; and Eagle River hunting enthusiast, Dan Anderson).
Contact info for Eagle River:
* Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail:
email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org
* ³Muskie Matt², 715-891-5980; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Mat Hegy, 715-571-7544, e-mail: email@example.com
* Guide¹s Choice Pro Shop, guide/owner ³Ranger Rick² Krueger, 715-477-2248
* George Langley, Eagle River Fishing Guides Association, 715-479-8804.
* Dan Anderson, Eagle River hunting enthusiast, 715-479-8511. e-mail:
(Dan is also a silent sports devotee and works with the Vilas County Silent Sports Association; www.vassa-trails.org).
***Calendar highlights for Eagle River, Wisconsin
- - Fall is peeking at Eagle River with a big smile and welcoming hand. You don't want to miss it. You'll be surrounded everywhere by mega-miles of spectacular fall colors. Yours for the hiking, biking, jogging and driving.
Great hunting for deer, black bear, upland birds, turkey and water fowl.
Fabulous fishing for lunker musky and walleye. Eagle River area's 1,300
lakes; the forests, meadows and wetlands. The beauty of nature in Wisconsin's Northwoods -- unmatched anywhere. A warm, welcoming community, with all needed public and private services. Accommodations, festivals, events and opportunities for every taste and age. We'll be happy to help you plan your visit, and provide you with any information you need.
Contact us at anytime: Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
- - Eagle River Golf Course is open in Eagle River. The beautiful Eagle River Golf Course is open from 10:00 am-6 pm. daily. Take advantage of the gorgeous, warm Northwoods weather, the scenic beauty, and get your swing in the groove. Many continuing money saving fun specials throughout the season, tournaments, youth golf season and tournament, new equipment demos, warm, expert, welcoming staff. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail: email@example.com; web:
- -If you're in the Eagle River area, and decide to go fishing, and maybe left your equipment at home not to worry. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a free, equipment loan program that may be able to help. For information and regulations of this program in the Eagle River area you can call Kimberly Krawczyk at 715-542-2075. Just another way to enjoy all that the Eagle River area has to offer. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web:
- - Throughout the year Eagle River offers great opportunities for "silent sports" devotees. Whatever the season, there are myriad activities, events, and just plain fun and relaxation for those who love biking, hiking, kayaking, running, jogging X-C skiing and snowshoeing. The facilities and trails are some of the best anywhere, with services and competitions to fit every level of expertise and taste. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: email@example.com; web:
- -Trees for Tomorrow has a multitude of family, youth, public and nature programs right on its campus in Eagle River. This wondrous venue allows everyone to explore the joys of nature at little or no cost. Contact Trees for Tomorrow for information and program schedule. Phone: 715-479-6456.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail: email@example.com; web:
- - The Wisconsin fishing season is open in Eagle River. For over 150 years anglers have flocked to Eagle River to enjoy the fun, relaxation and excitement of Eagle River's legendary fishing - -from walleye to musky - -and everything in between. Eagle River provides the finest fishing experience anyone could ever want. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web:
- -Hunting season is here in Eagle River - -from September on, great hunting opportunities for deer, black bear, wild turkey, upland birds, and waterfowl. Eagle River has it all, and welcomes hunters to its expansive opportunities. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315;
715-479-6400;e-mail: email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -Sat.-Sun., Sept. 20-21, 2014: Annual Paul's Pro-Am Musky Tournament.
Fabulous tournament with all skill levels competing. Cash prizes. One of Eagle River's oldest and "happiest" musky tournaments. Hiawatha Supper Club in Eagle River. Great fun for all. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web:
- -Sat. Sept. 27, 2014: Sportsmen's Chalet Snowmobile Benefit Pig Roast.
Raffles, great food and lots of fun. Come and support the clubs that groom the trails. Benefit for Sno-Eagles, Inc. Snowmobile Club & Sugar Camp Snowmobile Club. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315;
715-479-6400;e-mail: email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org
-- Sat.-Sun, October 4-5 2014: 35th Annual Cranberry Fest in Eagle River.
Vilas County Fairgrounds. Family fun festival with activities all around town. Fresh locally grown cranberries, cranberry marsh and winery tours, large arts and crafts show, cranberry cook-off, world's largest cranberry cheesecake, cranberry food of every kind, antique market, flea market, cranberry fiber arts and weavers show and sale, bike, walk, and run fitness events, family entertainment, farmers market, cranberry fest market, and much, much more. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
- - Fri.-Sun., Oct. 10-12, 2014: Northwoods Fall Art Tour, 10 am-5 pm. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail:
email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org
- -Sat., Oct. 25, 2014: 15th Annual OktoBEARfest, Black Bear Lodge. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400;e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
***(Report on Central Wisconsin Lakes AND the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin¹s Marathon and Lincoln Counties near Mosinee and Wausau), -- as of September 15, 2014.
Fishing action getting back to normal after heavy rains, with the heavy downpours having also impacted travel conditions for hunters as well as animal movement; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin¹s Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).
Fishing in the central Wisconsin area has been good for walleyes and white bass on the Wisconsin River system. Most of the action has come from the lower sections of the lakes well out of the main current of the river.
Recent rain falls had water levels to flood or near flood stage this past week pushing many fish to secluded areas and the main lakes. Now that things are starting to get back to normal you can anticipate the bite picking up.
With all the rain we have been receiving, some central Wisconsin area hunters are finding tough times in the woods. The heavy downpours have impacted not only travel conditions for hunters but have slowed movement from the animals as well. If your planning on hunting this week look for locations with higher ground or areas that are not going to be impacted by water.
(Central Wisconsin lakes report based on interviews with licensed guide and trapper Phil Schweik and licensed guide Glenn Moberg, of Hooksetters Fishing & Hunting Guide Service, Mosinee. Wisconsin).
For more information about fishing and hunting in the Central Wisconsin
* Phil Schweik, Hooksetters Fishing & Hunting Guide Services: phone:
715-693-5843; e-mail: email@example.com; web: www.hooksetters.biz
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Outdoor Report - Sept 4, 2014
Find Wisconsin State Parks, Trails and Forests
Check out the Wisconsin Department of Tourism
Wisconsin has had some stormy weather in the last week with rain, sometimes heavy, falling almost every day in one part of the state or another. But that didn't stop folks from participating in opening day of the early goose, dove, bear and first ever early teal seasons.
Fall color starting at Governor Thompson State Park.
And with all the rain, river levels have remained high across the state, with the Chippewa rising over a foot at Eau Claire, which was appreciated by people kayaking and canoeing over the holiday weekend. Both the North and South forks of the Flambeau are running high, which is unusual for later summer. The Lower Wisconsin River has also risen above normal levels and there are fewer sandbars for camping. Even the "Now and Then Falls" at Amnicon Falls State Park in Douglas County was running this week.
With the ever-changing weather, fishing success was hit or miss in the Northwoods. Musky continue to be the main species of interest in the area and action was only fair. Action for both largemouth and smallmouth bass was sporadic, with smallmouth being most active on the local flowages and larger rivers. Northern pike action has been good but walleye and panfish action was only fair. Water temperatures have been hovering in the low 70s on most waters. The hook and line sturgeon season opens Saturday on inland rivers.
Smallmouth bass fishing remained good along the Door peninsula and walleye anglers had moderate success on the bay and lower Fox River. Salmon anglers had good success out of Sturgeon Bay and Bailey's Harbor. High winds and tall waves on some days limited trolling activity on Lake Michigan, but those getting out were fishing closer to shore as fish are moving in as they begin to stage for fall spawning runs. Fish were surfacing outside the Kewaunee and Ahnapee rivers, at the Manitowoc harbor and at the mouth of the harbor in Two Rivers, and there was a report of chinook already moving up the Manitowoc. Many of the chinook caught, especially the males, have begun darkening in color.
Early goose hunters were finding fair success but most hunters reported teal numbers looked low early in the season but new flights arrived in the last days to provide some activity. Dove hunters were doing well in harvested winter wheat fields but reported many sunflower fields aren't quite ready due to late planting from the cold spring.
Some bear hunters in the northwest where populations are high were recording numerous hits on bait sites, in some cases up to a dozen. In other areas hunters are reporting fewer visits to bait as acorns have begun to drop. Whitetail bucks have begun shedding their velvet on young saplings and fawns are starting to loose their spots.
Night hawks are nearing the peak of their annual migration south. Large numbers of night hawks have been seen in the late afternoon and early evening feeding on insects over farm fields.
Blackberries are still ripening in the north and thimbleberries, which are the bright red berries that look like raspberries, have started to ripen in Door County. Wild rice is ripening and lakes are beginning to open for harvest. The crop is looking very good in some areas. A few branches of sugar and red maples have begun to change colors and staghorn sumac has begun to turn in some areas. The Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Fall Color Report (exit DNR) went active on their website this week.
Superior DNR Service Center area
Amnicon Falls State Park - With the rains this last week, even the Now and Then Falls is running. Amnicon Falls is attracting a lot of day-use swimmers to the falls. People are enjoying all parts of the river. The campground is open all year round and is in good condition. After Labor Day, all of our sites become first come first serve sites until May 2015. Many are asking when Amnicon Falls State Park closes for the year. We are open year round. Enjoy the different seasons and how the river changes with each season. - JoAnne Hudacek, visitor services associate
Spooner DNR Service Center area
Washburn County - Due to good spring and summer rainfalls, there are many small wetlands and ponds with standing water. This has been a great boom for frogs and toads. There are many shorebirds and waterfowl using these areas. Bear season is underway with bait sitters recording numerous hits on their bait sites, in some cases up to a dozen bears (some may be repeat observations). Acorns have just begun to drop causing some bait sites to "dry up" because bears, like most wildlife, really love acorns. - Mike Zeckmeister, wildlife supervisor, Spooner
Park Falls DNR Service Center area
Upper Chippewa Basin fisheries report (Price, Rusk, Sawyer Taylor and inland Ashland and Iron counties) - With some heavy rain and several cold fronts in the last week, fishing success has been a hit or miss proposition in the Northwoods. Musky have continued to be the main species of interest in the area and action was only fair with the ever-changing weather. Most anglers were reporting quite a few sightings, follows and short strikes - and a fair number of catches were also made. Large-size artificials have provided most of the action and some of the favorite lures have included topwaters, double-bladed bucktails, and Bull Dawgs. The musky have been found in a variety of locations - including the less-dense weed beds, the deeper weed edges, and some even suspended in the deeper water areas. Most of the musky caught have been in the 30 to 38-inch size, but a couple in the 42 to 46-inch range have also been reported. Action for both largemouth and smallmouth bass has been sporadic, with smallmouth being most active on the local flowages and larger rivers. The smallmouth have been found near cover around deeper water areas, with the successful baits being plastic finesse lures and spinner baits. Largemouth success seemed especially erratic in the past week, with most of the fish being found in the mid-depth areas around cover. The top-water bite never really developed this summer and it seemed the largemouth have been holding around cover in 3 to 6 feet of water. Soft plastics, jig/craw combinations, and spinner baits have been the more successful baits lately. Northern pike action has been good, as the relatively cool water temperatures favor this species. Some good success has been found on spinner baits casted along the mid-depth weed edges. Walleye action has remained fair, with a few anglers making some decent catches in 12 to 14 feet of water on slip bobbers rigged with a leech or night crawler. Panfish activity has also been fair -some decent crappie and bluegill have been found suspended around deeper water cover, and rock bass being found just about everywhere else. Water levels in the local lakes, rivers and streams remain a bit high, and levels have just started to drop with the dry weather of the past few days. Flowages are also a few inches high, though many of the dams have had to open gates to pass the excess water that resulted from the heavy late-August rains. Water temperatures have been hovering in the low 70s on most waters. - Skip Sommerfeldt, senior fisheries biologist, Park Falls
Flambeau River State Forest - We have had quite a stretch of wet, stormy weather and both the North and South Forks of the Flambeau River are running high right now. Trail are very wet. Leaves are starting to turn ever so slightly and we are seeing quite a few broods of grouse and young turkeys. Blackberries were sparse this summer and are over for this season. Roadside asters are blooming along with hawkweed and goldenrod is in full bloom. Folks should be watchful for the ground wasps as they are out as well. Connors Lake Campground is closed for the season but Lake of the Pines will be open till Dec. 15. - Judy Freeman, visitor services associate
Woodruff DNR Service Center area
Oneida County - Bear hunting opened this week, and there are a lot of people participating. I have had a couple of reports of successful bear hunters already. There have been some goose hunters out, with a couple reports of success. A few hunters have gone afield to try their hand at the early teal season, but our resident teal population numbers are pretty low up here. There are still some turkey broods that are smaller in size than the adult hens, but the brood sizes look good. Grouse broods are now pretty much the same size as an adult, and are flying well. Deer are moving about more in the daytime now as with cooler temperatures and fewer biting insects than we had throughout the summer. Blackberries are about 20 percent ripe, and the acorn crop, which has begun to drop, looks to be a good one. Goldenrod is in full bloom, and the staghorn sumac has begun to turn. We have had a lot of rain this summer, and it has been on the cooler side. There are a lot of wet areas in the woods. Folks who plan to participate in the archery hunt are encouraged to invest some time scouting to give them the best odds when the season opens. - Jeremy Holtz, wildlife biologist, Rhinelander
Local goose numbers are good and hunters are reporting success during the early goose season. Teal numbers looked low during the first two days of the teal season but a new flight has arrived in the last days to provide hunters some activity. Wild rice is ripening and lakes are beginning to open for harvest. - Tim Ebert, conservation warden, Woodruff
Vilas County - Severe weather that moved through the St. Germain area Wednesday and Thursday hampered bear hunting efforts for the opening of the bait season this year. Weather conditions improved after the passing of the storms and weather forecasts predict much better hunting weather in the coming days. Teal and early goose hunters are finding fair success over the area in general; however, numbers of geese in the Rainbow Flowage area are somewhat less than last year. Hunters are reminded to make sure they know exactly what they are shooting at before they pull the trigger. - Michael Sealander, conservation warden, St. Germain
Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest - The shorter days are starting to influence the colors of autumn. Golden rods, asters and cattails are showing their colors off along with the ripening grasses. A few reds are starting to show in the low lying areas and from a stressed tree here and there. Nighthawks are starting their fall journey and more groups of turkeys, crows and ravens can be seen foraging for insects along the roadsides. It is a great time to be out in the woods! Cunard, Plum and South Trout campgrounds are now closed for the season. East Star, Buffalo, Sandy Beach, Starrett and Upper Gresham will close for the season on Tuesday, October 14. Many of the others will go to self-registration and will remain open until the snow flies. Dump stations are still open. - Rosalie Richter, visitor services associate
Antigo DNR Service Center area
Langlade County - Nighthawks are nearing the peak of their annual migration south. Large numbers of nighthawks can be seen in the late afternoon and early evening feeding on insects over farm fields and other open spaces. Recent heavy rain has improved local wetland conditions providing good conditions for migrating waterfowl. The wild rice crop is looking very good and it should ripe soon (possibly this weekend). Early season goose hunters are finding decent numbers of geese especially in recently harvest grain fields. - Eric J. Borchert, wildlife technician, Antigo
Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report - Compiled by David Boyarski, fisheries supervisor, Sturgeon Bay
Marinette County - Fishing for smallmouth bass on the Peshtigo River using crank baits, spinners, and plastics was working well. Some perch were caught off of Little River, with many small ones in the mix. A few trout and salmon were caught near Green Island. Salmon are expected to stage for fall runs soon, and fishing may pick up closer to shore in the coming weeks. Walleye are still being caught trolling in the evenings on the Menominee River. Shore anglers report panfish, bass, sheepshead, and a few walleye using live bait. - Tammie Paoli, fisheries biologist, Peshtigo
Oconto County - Fishing pressure was light, with panfish on live bait and smallmouth bass on spinners and plastics being caught along the length of the river. Perch are hit and miss from Pensaukee to Oconto Park II. Nine to 14 feet of water using minnows was working when fish were found. Walleye fishing in the evenings around reefs using zip lures and minnows resulted in catches. Musky anglers at Geano Beach reported some follows and low number caught. Walleye anglers reported catching musky on crawler harnesses with chartreuse blades. - Tammie Paoli, fisheries biologist, Peshtigo
Brown County - Walleye fishermen had mixed results; however, numbers continued to slide this week. Bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses produced the most fish but location and timing seemed to play a bigger role then the method used. The majority of fish were caught in 14-18 feet of water, yet there was no consensus on where to locate them. Perch anglers continued to struggle this week with very few fish being caught. Water temperatures were reported around 71 degrees. There was a spike in activity this week at Duck Creek; however, it was with hunters setting up blinds early goose opener. Weeds continued to clog up shallow and low flow areas. Water flow in the main channel has increased in the last two weeks and with more rain on the way, this trend looks to continue for some time. At the mouth of the Fox River, water flow increased and algae began to clear out of the area. Water temps in the bays continued to hover near 70 degrees with the main channel reading just below that. Walleye fishing was hit-and-miss with the greatest success near Kidney Island. Anglers trolling cranks of varying colors in 12 to 16 feet of water and just off bottom yielded the best results. The majority of walleye averaged in the 3-4 pound range and were between 19 and 24 inches. Voyager Park saw very little action this week. One angler using night crawlers was able to catch a smallmouth bass, walleye, and a catfish all from the same spot and within one hour. The mouth of the river continued to produce catfish on a consistent basis with sizes averaging near 5 pounds. Drums were caught in large numbers throughout the day, while the majority of catfish were coming in at dusk and dawn. Multiple smallmouth bass were caught along the shorelines between the De Pere Dam and the mouth of the river. Perch color cranks have been the lure of choice with better numbers caught in bays and slack waters. Bay Shore Park pier anglers Bayshore this week reported catching mostly round gobies. They did however mention that a few whitefish, freshwater drum and catfish were being hooked using crawlers in the evening. Walleye boats had mixed results. Most were able to bring fish home, which is good news considering the summer catch was rather tough. The average size was 19.6 inches and average weight of 3 pounds. Perch anglers seemed to either catch a limit or a handful. Minnows, crawlers and leeches are the go-to choice of perch fishermen. The average perch this week was just over nine inches and 0.3 pounds. Walleye anglers at Suamico had moderate success using crawler harnesses and bottom bouncers in 14-18 feet of water. Perch anglers had low success using minnows, worms, and leeches. Water temperature was 71 degrees.
Door County - Salmon anglers launching from Sturgeon Bay have had success this week fishing the banks, using lead core and flies. Anglers have reported a few hits with flies on the dipsy diver as well. Catches have been large in size. Anglers launching from Stone Quarry have had high success for smallmouth bass out on the bay using cranks and flicker shads fishing the weeds. Anglers in search of walleye are still having low success, but the father south you go on the Bay the better the bite gets. Anglers fishing from shore at Stone Quarry have had success for smallmouth bass using artificial worms and cranks, although size has been small. Perch anglers fishing in the canal have had the best luck when fishing around structures using night crawler pieces. Little Sturgeon Bay pier anglers were catching mostly smaller sized perch using crawlers. Only a few were a worth keeping. Boaters looking for perch had mixed results. Minnows and crawler were the bait of choice. Sawyer Harbor boaters were able to land decent amounts of smallmouth bass this week. Crawlers, tubes and fake worms were the way to go. Nice sized smallmouth were observed off of the north side pier as well as northern pike by the south side pier. Perch anglers out of Chaudoir's Dock this week had a tough time. Of the ones that were caught, the average size was 9.5 inches. Walleye anglers were catching decent numbers of fish, with the largest amount being 15 between three anglers. The average length was 17.9 inches and 2.3 pounds. Freshwater drum and round gobies were also caught.
EDITOR'S ADVISORY: The Kewaunee County creel report has been updated. Last week's report was inadvertently included in this week's outdoor report.
Kewaunee County - Pier anglers in Kewaunee had high success fishing to the inside of the pier throwing spoons.. Anglers fishing the shore inside the "No Wake" sign have had low success with two Kings reported caught. Anglers launching from Kewaunee have had success this week in 60-100 feet of water using dodger flies for Kings and spoons for Rainbows, color didn't seem to matter. Anglers fishing on the Algoma Piers have had success for Browns and Kings in the early morning and late evening hours using spoons and spawn sacks. The best colors seemed to be orange and sliver or blue and silver. Anglers launching in Algoma are fishing in 25-110 feet of water, fishing down 20-60 feet. Water temperature on the lake is 60 degrees. Anglers have had success using flasher flies for Kings and green and ladybug colored spoons for the Steelhead.
Manitowoc County - The last two or three weeks of slow fishing action in Manitowoc County may finally be turning the corner, as last weekend saw a noticeable improvement in catch rates for Lake Michigan. Anglers that launched out of both Two Rivers and Manitowoc had high success out on the lake fishing in 20 feet of water using j-plugs and spoons. Some limits reported. Anglers are also catching respectably-sized northern pike in the Two Rivers harbor and smallmouth bass in Manitowoc, either intentionally or incidentally. Two Rivers pier and shore anglers saw an overall increase in catch rates over the last few days, but trollers were the real winners over the weekend. On Sunday there were around 30-odd boats trolling the area outside of the Two Rivers harbor, and boats could be seen from the piers bringing fish in with some regularity. More than 200 fish were brought in on Sunday by trollings, and virtually all of them were kings. Lake trout have all but disappeared and steelhead have become scarce, but more brown trout are being caught now than in several weeks previous. Trollers in Manitowoc experienced similar good results though not in the numbers coming out of Two Rivers. A few Manitowoc boaters reported limit or near limit catches of kings. The fish are shallow now, with many anglers reporting fish caught in around 20 feet of water. Rough lake conditions and heavy fog on Monday dramatically cut down on boater activity on the lake, but the size and numbers of fish that were brought in over the weekend have anglers anxious to get back out as conditions improve. The Labor Day holiday weekend saw increased numbers of pier and harbor angler activity in Manitowoc and Two Rivers, and several anglers were rewarded with catches of sizable king salmon and a few brown trout as well. The kings appear to be on the cusp of their fall run, with decent numbers of the fish surfacing outside the Manitowoc harbor and at the mouth and interior of the harbor in Two Rivers, but most fish seem to be staging beyond casting range of the piers.
Peshtigo DNR Service Center area
Governor Thompson State Park - We are starting to see the first signs of fall on the trails and in the campgrounds. Turkeys with their poults are frequently seen feeding along Paust Lane. The boat launch facilities are open at Caldron Falls Flowage. The boat landing has 2 ramps, boarding dock, restrooms, picnic area and fishing pier. Woods Lake and Huber Lake are carry-in, no motor lakes - Maggie Kailhofer, park manager
Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center area
Rock Island State Park - Washington Island anglers are reporting an increase in smallmouth bass being caught. Salmon are still being taken regularly. With the recent rains breaking the dry July and August the mushroom pickers are reporting some great meals picked. Early bow season on Rock Island starts Oct. 15 after the ferry stops running for the season-hunters need their own boats then. Ducks are being seen moving about the lakeshore. - Randy Holm, ranger and assistant property manager
Whitefish Dunes State Park - Thimbleberries which are the bright red berries that look like raspberries have started to ripen and can be a sweet treat along the trail. Just be aware of leaves of three-poison ivy. Chickadees and nuthatches can be seen in large numbers throughout the forested dunes. A hike along the black or brachiopod trail will provide a glimpse of various woodpeckers; redheaded, pileated, downy and hairy. Be sure to bring a camera along to try and catch a glimpse of wildlife sightings.- Jaclyn Moeri, visitor services associate
Wautoma DNR Service Center area
Waupaca County - Some of the red maples and ash trees in the area have begun to change colors. Very heavy recent rains have area streams in near flood stage - unfishable. If you want to hunt doves or geese, find a wheat stubble field. Both species are really feeding heavily in freshly harvested wheat stubble. Lots of big turkey broods this year, most look like late hatches as the poults are still only chicken sized. After staging last week the nighthawks have migrated out of the area. Some acorns have started to drop, too early to tell how good a crop it is. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma
Waushara County - Waushara County has had and is forecasted to have some more stormy weather in the near future, but that didn't stop folks from participating in opening day of the early goose and the first ever early teal season. Folks on the eastern portion of the county enjoyed a decent amount of early season action from the number of shots heard on opening day. Success was spotty and limited to areas that folks knew held birds. The cool mornings make it nice for folks to get out before the sun heats up areas and the storms roll in, so folks are encouraged to get out and participate in what the early seasons are offering. If folks do get out and enjoy the early teal season remember that the opening and closing are not the same as early goose openings and closing. Teal opens at sunrise and closes at 7 p.m. each day for the remainder of the seven day season. - Ben Mott, conservation warden, Wautoma
Oshkosh DNR Service Center area
Calumet County - Many hunters took to the field on Labor Day for the early goose, dove, and early teal season openers on the Killsnake and Brillion State Wildlife Areas in Calumet County. Despite thick clouds of mosquitos and temperatures in the upper 70s, most hunters were excited to be in the field. Many doves, geese, and teal were harvested between the two properties. Hunters are reminded that legal shooting hours end at 7 p.m. for the week long early teal season. Recently, anglers are having a tough time getting out on Lake Winnebago along the east shore. Rain and wind have been creating wet and rough conditions on the lake. Anglers are picking up some perch when weather conditions allow off Stockbridge Harbor and Mud Creek. - Michael Disher, conservation warden - Stockbridge
Outagamie County - Goose and dove hunters are doing well hunting in harvested winter wheat fields. Mallard numbers appear to be very high with a large number on ponds in the area. Anglers on Lake Winnebago are still catching perch and walleye, but success has been very dependent on location. Deer have been out quite regularly in recent mornings and evenings and fawns with spots and bucks with velvet antlers can still be seen. - Ryan Propson, conservation warden, Appleton
Milwaukee DNR Service Center area
Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report - Compiled from creel clerks by Cheryl Masterson and Jeffrey Zinuticz, fisheries technicians, Milwaukee
Sheboygan County - Numerous boats were seen fishing near the gap of the harbor over the weekend, picking up numerous chinook salmon on flasher-flies and spoons. On Saturday many chinook salmon were caught off the North pier. Anglers had the best success using gold and green spoons. On Sunday the bite shut down in the afternoon. The anglers had some success catching a few chinook in the early morning until 7 a.m.
Ozaukee County - Chinook were biting near the WE Energies discharge at the Port Washington shore. Anglers were catching the chinook on clumps of leaf worms and spawn sacs. On Sunday the chinook bite turned off and the brown trout kicked on. The anglers were catching numerous brown trout using the same technique as the chinook. Trollers were fishing in 20-80 feet of water on Sunday and had luck catching a few chinook. Anglers also went out to deeper water in 120-160 and had success catching chinook and lake trout.
Racine County - Fishing activity was low during the week but increased on the weekend. South-southeast winds at 20 mph gusting to 30 mph and 4-5 foot waves made fishing a challenge at the start of the Labor Day weekend. Boats trolled close to shore and were targeting kings and brown trout. The boat launch was busy on Sunday with a mix of fishing boats, pleasure boats, and personal watercraft. Trollers were averaging of two to three fish per boat. The kings are starting to lose their silver-chrome color but they still look fresh and the browns are just starting to display their spawning colors. Fishing pressure on the shoreline was low early in the week but increased on Labor Day weekend. Some nice catches of perch were reported at Pershing Park. Anglers fishing on the Reichert Court fishing pier caught a wide variety of fish during spring and summer including brown trout, northern pike, steelhead, perch, smallmouth, and largemouth bass. The water level is higher this year and that might have brought more fish into the shallow bay. The surface temperature at the lakefront was 69F Wednesday morning but dropped to 64 degrees by Saturday afternoon. Fishing pressure at piers was steady during the week. Most of the pier anglers have been showing up to fish for kings. Three kings and a small coho were landed on South Pier Tuesday morning and all of them were caught on spoons. The catch rate and the fishing pressure increased on Labor Day weekend. A group of anglers fished with glow in the dark spoons on North Pier from Friday night to Saturday morning and walked off the pier with a stringer full of fish. More than 100 anglers were on South Pier early Saturday morning and 8-9 kings were caught between them.
Kenosha County - Traffic at the Simmons Island boat ramp has been very low over the past few weeks. Anglers reported chinook were scattered at different locations on the lake and at various depths. South-southeast winds at 20 mph gusting to 30 mph and 4-5 foot waves made fishing a challenge. Perch fishing has been slow since early August. Fishing pressure on the shoreline was low during the week but increased on Labor Day weekend. Two nice size kings (8-10 pounds) were landed at the mouth of the Pike River Tuesday morning before the rain storms. Approximately 30 anglers fished the shoreline near the mouth of the Pike River Saturday morning. The winds waves on Friday pushed sand and gravel into the mouth of the river which blocked off the access to the river from the lake. King salmon trying to find their way into the river swam back and forth close to the shoreline. The action was very slow before sunrise but started to picked after sunrise, with 12-16 pounds kings landed within an hour. Pier fishing pressure was low during the week but picked up on Labor Day weekend. A mixed bag of fish was landed from the piers during the Labor Day weekend. A few brown trout (5-8 pounds) were landed by anglers along with a couple of small, 1-2 pound coho that still had their bright silver-chrome color.
Waukesha DNR Service Center area
Waukesha County - Mourning doves and geese are being found in harvested small grain fields. Hunters have been enjoying success on state properties during the early teal season. Adult bucks are beginning to lose their velvet, and fawns are losing their spots. Vernon Wildlife Area parking lots are slated to be repaired this fall. Acorn crops are looking very promising in the area. - Kelly VanBeek, wildlife biologist, Waukesha
Plymouth DNR Service Center area
Theresa Marsh State Wildlife Area - Hunting pressure was very light on Theresa Marsh Wildlife Area during the Sept 1 early teal season opener. A Conservation Warden reported that one young hunter had a limit of teal (4 blue-wing and 2 green-wing). Viewing opportunities for waterfowl, wading birds and other birds are still excellent along the Hwy 28 pull off areas west of Hwy 41. Hwy 28 runs through the middle of a designated waterfowl refuge. Hunters and visitors are reminded that public entry into the refuge is prohibited from Sept. 1 through December 1st, except gun deer hunting is allowed during the 9-day gun deer season. The early teal, early goose and mourning dove seasons are now open (early teal closes Sept 7) and pre-hunt scouting is critical to finding good areas to hunt. Pike Lake DNR Wildlife Management staff have seen several very late hatches of turkey broods the past two weeks. A turkey hen with four "puff-ball" size poults (less than a week old) was seen along this morning near Germantown. Several important public input meetings are coming up later this month for local residents. A meeting to gather public comments on the draft Master Plans for Theresa Marsh, Allenton Marsh, and Jackson Marsh Wildlife Areas and Cedarburg Bog State Natural Area will be held the evening of Sept. 25 from 5-7:30 p.m. (with a brief formal presentation at 6 p.m.) in room 113A/B of the Washington County Public Agency Center in West Bend. The first County Deer Advisory Council (CDAC) meeting for Washington County is Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Daniel Boone Conservation League. The Ozaukee County CDAC meeting is at 7 p.m., Sept. 22, at the Riveredge Nature Center. More meeting information on the CDAC web page on the dnr website (dnr.wi.gov). - Tom Isaac, wildlife biologist, Hartford
South Central Region
Dodgeville DNR Service Center area
Grant County - After some rain at the end of August, the Lower Wisconsin River has risen up above normal levels for this time of year. There are fewer sandbars to camp on and the fish are a little more difficult to find than when they are concentrated in deep holes during low water conditions. Pelicans and nighthawks have begun to flock up and head south already. Bucks are shedding their velvet on young saplings. Some mourning doves have been seen at the sunflower fields west of Port Andrew. The white pine are dropping their seeds and many of the local doves are hitting this food source currently. A few aspen and maple are starting to turn color already. Burr oaks have dropped their acorns and the red oaks will be next, with a good crop this year. - Daniel Goltz, wildlife biologist, Boscobel
Blue Mound State Park - The swimming pool is no closed for the rest of the year. Mountain bike trails tend to close for a few days after a heavy rain to allow the track to adequately dry. Call the park at 608-437-5711 for current mountain bike trail status.
Horicon DNR Service Center area
Dodge County - There has been an increase in the number of migrating mourning doves in Dodge and Jefferson counties. - Paul Nell, conservation warden, Horicon
Fitchburg DNR Service Center area
Columbia County - Fishing on Lake Wisconsin has been spotty. Some walleye are being caught and white bass have been biting near the ferry crossing. Dove hunters took to the fields on opening day. Sunflower fields at Mud Lake, Peter Helland, and Paradise Marsh state wildlife areas saw limited success on opening day. Due to the late planting, the sunflowers aren't quite ready. - Ryan Volenberg, conservation warden, Poynette
There were high levels of dove hunters out in Columbia County this past weekend with moderate success. Most sunflower fields are far from ripe so it may be a few more weeks before those fields start holding birds. Goose hunters faired well if they had scouted the normal flight s of the resident geese. Water levels on the Wisconsin River should start to drop by the end of this week pending any more rain here or up north. - Paul Nadolski, conservation warden, Portage
Dane County - Fishers have been experiencing very light to moderate action on pan fish on the Madison Area Lakes. Walleye fishers have been having some decent action trolling for walleyes on Lake Mendota, and experiencing some good musky action on Lakes Monona and Waubesa. Bass fishers have been experiencing light to very good action on the Madison lakes. Early season goose hunters have been experiencing some good action on area waterways, dove hunters some good action on area fields, and early season teal hunters have been experiencing very limited action with few teal active in the area. - Henry Bauman, conservation warden, Fitchburg
West Central Region
Baldwin DNR Service Center area
St. Croix County - An adult whooping crane was seen outside of New Richmond feeding with sandhill cranes in strawberry fields! The crane was visible to the west of Hwy 65. Bluebird families are congregating. The young are seen with adults foraging along roadsides. - Harvey Halvorsen, wildlife supervisor, Baldwin
La Crosse DNR Service Center area
Vernon County - Coyotes have been very vocal over the last several weeks. Family groups have established rendezvous sites. These are typically open areas including old log landings, abandoned quarries or grassy hillsides, where family groups meet to socialize, and prepare for an upcoming hunt. Pups are especially vocal at this time and will readily respond when howled at. Chipmunks are currently busy harvesting and storing acorns, hickory nuts, black walnuts, and various other seeds. Chipmunks have fur-lined internal cheek pouches for carrying nuts and seeds which they cache in their underground burrows for use at a later time. Instead of relying upon stored body fat to sustain them during periods of hibernation, chipmunks awaken about every 2 weeks throughout the winter and early spring to feed on their cache of nuts, seeds, including bird seed from bird feeders, fruits, mushrooms, and sometimes green vegetation and insects. The fur lining in a chipmunk's cheek pouches prevents saliva from contacting food being carried in the pouches. Contact with saliva enzymes could cause stored food to spoil before consumption. There are two species of chipmunks in Wisconsin. The eastern chipmunk is found statewide, and the least chipmunk lives primarily in about the northern half of the state. Eastern chipmunks have a distinctive chestnut brown rump patch that is absent in the least chipmunk. Both chipmunk's genus name is Latin for "storer," an appropriate name since they store vast quantities of food. One hungry least chipmunk was known to have cached close to 500 acorns and 2700 cherry pits.- Dave Matheys, wildlife biologist, Viroqua
Black River Falls DNR Service Center area
Black River State Forest - Cooler temperatures and fewer biting insects make this a great time to visit the Black River State Forest. Hiking, biking, fishing, and swimming are just some of the many activities available. Temperatures are expected to be in the low to mid 70s this weekend. All-terrain vehicle trails are open but are in rough condition with wet and muddy areas. - Emily Alf, visitors services associate
Trempealeau County - Area rivers and streams are high and the currents are fast. Anglers, kayakers, and canoeists should exercise caution and use the buddy system. Always let someone not going on the trip know where you are going and when you plan on being done. Bear hunters in the area report that acorns are dropping and bears are not hitting the baits as frequently. Groups of bucks are still being seen together in the fields at dusk. Doves are being seen in plentiful numbers around field edges. Deer hunters are reminded that bait materials may not be placed until Sept. 12. - Robin Barnhardt, conservation warden, Osseo
Eau Claire DNR Service Center area
Eau Claire County -Labor Day weekend was pretty wet. Sunday was a really nice day and a lot of people were out enjoying the ATV trails in Eau Claire and Clark counties. The rain actually helped the trails and kept the dust down. With all the rain last week the river levels came up over a foot. This was really appreciated by people who wanted to kayak and canoe on local streams. Usually by the end of August the rivers are really low and hard to navigate. Mushroom pickers are seeing many mushrooms in the woods. Acorns are just starting to fall; it looks like white oaks are going to have a good crop this year. Bear hunters report that bears are still hitting baits. Usually the week before the bear season they really seem to slow down on the baits. Teal hunters were not getting many shots ducks. During a weekend patrol only four teal were observed. - Ken Thomson, conservation warden, Fall Creek
Red Cedar State Trail - The 5th Annual Run for Water event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 4 at the DNR Red Cedar State Trail Head, 804 Hudson Road in Menomonie. Registration 8 a.m.; Free Sprint for Kids 8:45 a.m.; 1-Mile Run/Walk 9 a.m.; 5K & 10K Race 9:45 a.m. The cost is $15 before Oct. 1.; $20 on the day of the race. New this year is the family registration rate. Families can participate for $50 if you register early. It will be $60 for families on the day of the race. For more information, please email Cherise Nielsen at firstname.lastname@example.org. - Penny L. Thiede-Klish, visitor service associate
Lake Wissota State Park - Species of birds seen or heard include: ravens, rose-breasted grosbeaks, loons, robins, red polls, a variety of wrens, phoebes, turkey vultures, pileated woodpeckers, great blue herons, great horned and barred owls, osprey, bald eagles and belted kingfishers. Canada geese have finished molting and the young are flying. Indian pipe, harebell, wintergreen, common mullein, white snakeroot, marsh skullcap, lesser daisy fleabane, Joe Pye weed, pearly everlasting, the pale and spotted jewelweed, rabbits foot clover, marsh hedge nettle, the water lilies, some of the aster varieties, a few great blue cardinal flowers, and wooly yarrow are flowering. The open water game fish action has been good this past week. Bass action on spinner baits and float baits has been productive, but walleye action has been spotty. There has been good musky action on Cornell flowage and below the Cornell dam. Pan fish have been fairly active in the evenings near weed beds. The park dump station is open. - Dave Hladilek, park manager
Wausau DNR Service Center area
Rib Mountain State Park - Trails are in excellent condition for a late summer hike. Lots of deer, woodchucks and even an occassional turkey can be seen. Lots of song birds are being reported in the park. Stop in the office and pick up a copy of the Rib Mountain State Park Bird list, new and hot off the press. See who among your family and friends can spot the most species of birds. As a reminder off road mountain biking is not allowed at Rib Mountain or the Granite Peak Ski Area leased area, for mountain biking opportunities please visit the nearby Nine Mile County Forest Recreation Area. Work has begun on the road at the top of the park, so you may encounter short delays in your visit. We are striving to maintain full access to the park; however, please be prepared as there are construction vehicles and equipment in the park. Work is expected to be completed by mid-October.
Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area
Buckhorn State Park - The lake has been busy with boating, fishing and swimming. Canoes and kayaks are available to rent for use on the canoe interpretive trail and at the beach. Check out a GPS unit at the park office or bring your own to discover the Ranger Rick Geocaches or history of Buckhorn caches. Horseshoes and volleyballs are available to checkout for use by the beach or in the group camp. Early goose/waterfowl hunting is happening in the Yellow River Wildlife Area and Buckhorn Wildlife Area. Bowhunting will be starting in the park and wildlife areas soon. Check out hunting maps online or at the park office. It is a little early for fall colors, but still a great time to take photos for the annual photo contest. - Heather Wolf, park manager
Roche-A-Cri State Park - Trails are in great shape for hiking and geocaching. GPS units are available to check out at the park office. Horseshoes and volleyball are available to check out to use at the mound shelter. Many picnic areas in the park to enjoy the weekend weather. No food, pets or drinks are allowed on the stairway. Users are restricted to the stairway and it is open from 6 am to sunset. - Heather Wolf, park manager
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